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How can I cope with denial if I am grieving?

Often it's easier to recognize denial in others than in ourselves. If you think denial might be interfering with the grieving process of someone you care about—or if denial is hobbling your ability to move forward—the following suggestions may prove helpful. Remember, though, to be patient with the grieving person or yourself and understand that denial can be protective and useful.
  • Acknowledge it. Sometimes denial offers a safe haven or a much-needed break. Distraction has a place in grief. Some bereavement experts note that when you're ready to learn more, explore more, or do more, you will. Sometimes accepting rather than pushing against denial allows other feelings to surface.
  • Explore it. Writing out your feelings may help you move forward if you feel stuck. If you can't seem to shake persistent numbness or a sense of disbelief, consider seeking help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.